Travis is a precision optics manufacturer for Optimax Systems in Ontario, New York. He was able to obtain his position through a manufacturing apprenticeship, a beneficial opportunity that allowed Travis get on the job training that can lead to a fulfilling career in manufacturing. The program also led him to finish an associate’s degree and continue working towards a bachelor’s degree. T
Despite wanting to go above and beyond, his apprenticeship program only requires a high school diploma and taking college-level classes to gain knowledge that is pertinent to the manufacturing careers available in the field.
“It's definitely not necessary to have the diploma. The experience that you're gaining through the apprenticeship puts you far above that piece of paper you're gonna get,” he says.
Travis is the first apprentice for this program, which is run through New York State and in partnership with the New York Department of Labor.
For Travis, getting paid to learn the ropes of the field he wants to work in and eventually finding himself in these positions is what makes the apprenticeship worth it.
“I feel like leaps and bounds ahead of where a lot of the students I went to school with will be. 'Cause I'll already have time in industry. I'll already have experience, my journeyman's papers, a bachelor's degree. I'll have credentials to go and do whatever I want, wherever I want.”